Spiced Mince Pie Christmas Cookies
I first tried these cookies, a Greek Christmas treat, at a Greek friend’s place last year. I was instantly captivated by them. A crumbly dough, rich with grassy olive oil and a hint of butter, gets soaked in a luscious honey-scented syrup that perfumes it inside and out.
The texture is unusual but incredibly addictive. The syrup is often flavoured with cinnamon, but here I’ve gone a step further and used Bird & Blend’s festive Mince Pie black tea, rich with vanilla, cinnamon and almond flavours. It pairs beautifully with honey (use your favourite flavoursome honey) and makes these a truly addictive Christmas treat. They keep well for a few days, too, becoming even more syrupy and delightful with time, and they’re incredibly easy to whip up.
This delicious recipe was created by Tea Rep: nutmegs_seven
What you will need:
For the cookies
- 100g extra virgin olive or rapeseed oil
- 50g butter (room temperature)
- 60g icing sugar
- 60ml fresh orange juice
- A splash of brandy (optional)
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/3 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 350g plain flour
- Zest of 1 orange
- Walnut pieces, to decorate
For the syrup
- 120ml water
- 110g sugar
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1 heaped tbsp Mince Pie tea
What to do:
1. The first thing you need to do is pre-heat the oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with non-stick silicone or baking paper.
2. Sift half of the flour into a bowl and mix well with the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
3. Using an electric mixer or hand whisk, beat the oil, butter and icing sugar together for a few minutes until thick and creamy.
4. Add a third of the sifted flour along with a third of the orange juice, and the brandy (if using). Whisk briefly, then add another third of the flour and orange juice, whisk again, then add the remaining flour and orange juice and whisk briefly.
5. Add the orange zest and the rest of the flour. You should have a fluffy, soft dough that is not sticky.
6. Shape the dough into 16 small balls. Place on the baking sheet spaced apart, and use a fork to press them down slightly. Bake for 25 minutes.
7. While the cookies are baking, put the water, sugar, honey, and tea into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for a couple of minutes, then strain through a sieve, remove the tea leaves, and return it to the saucepan. Keep warm.
8. When the cookies are baked, submerge them in the syrup (in batches) for 30 seconds on each side. Return to the baking tray and leave to cool. Place a walnut piece on each cookie to decorate. Any leftover syrup can be poured over the cookies while they cool, so they soak it up.
9. Enjoy with a hot cup of tea!